Magic Mountain

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photos by:
January 22, 2009
Originally published in Home Savings
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  A trap-door opening at the top of the house allows for better circulation.

    A trap-door opening at the top of the house allows for better circulation.

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  The stairwell is the bright core of the house. To keep an open feeling, and costs down, it zigzags its way up. Inexpensive metal railings are set inside and painted the same red to disappear into the stairwell.

    The stairwell is the bright core of the house. To keep an open feeling, and costs down, it zigzags its way up. Inexpensive metal railings are set inside and painted the same red to disappear into the stairwell.

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  The kitchen and dining room.

    The kitchen and dining room.

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  Geometric notches in the kitchen cabinetry are simple and cost-effective substitutes for metal cabinet pulls—they also provide visual interest in an otherwise unadorned space.

    Geometric notches in the kitchen cabinetry are simple and cost-effective substitutes for metal cabinet pulls—they also provide visual interest in an otherwise unadorned space.

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  The Wibowo family spends most of their time together on the first floor. "We're always here, cooking or with the kids," Wibowo explains. "On a nice day, we open up the doors and eat outside."

    The Wibowo family spends most of their time together on the first floor. "We're always here, cooking or with the kids," Wibowo explains. "On a nice day, we open up the doors and eat outside."

  • 
  When residents want privacy (from the outside world or from other family members), sliding curtains, like this one dividing the office from the staircase, create temporary walls between rooms. "When you close the curtains, you can't see anything," says Wibowo. "It's more like Asian culture, where you don't want to show everything all at once. We want to be in control of what guests see."

    When residents want privacy (from the outside world or from other family members), sliding curtains, like this one dividing the office from the staircase, create temporary walls between rooms. "When you close the curtains, you can't see anything," says Wibowo. "It's more like Asian culture, where you don't want to show everything all at once. We want to be in control of what guests see."

  • 
  To mirror the mountaintop, Wibowo drew three points at the top of the roof (one at the apex, two at intermediate points), then connected all the walls off at least one of those points. The result is a jagged yet sliding set of angles capping the structure. Inside, the top of the house is like a bright white snowcap.

    To mirror the mountaintop, Wibowo drew three points at the top of the roof (one at the apex, two at intermediate points), then connected all the walls off at least one of those points. The result is a jagged yet sliding set of angles capping the structure. Inside, the top of the house is like a bright white snowcap.

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  Musical accompaniment to daily life is provided by the children, both of whom play the grand piano.

    Musical accompaniment to daily life is provided by the children, both of whom play the grand piano.

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  The master bedroom.

    The master bedroom.

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  Inside, the space is spare but infused with color because "painting is the cheapest way to decorate." Twelve-year-old Tabitha's room is pink.

    Inside, the space is spare but infused with color because "painting is the cheapest way to decorate." Twelve-year-old Tabitha's room is pink.

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  The third floor, a massive unfurnished loftlike area, is "white, like the ice on top of the mountain," Wibowo says.

    The third floor, a massive unfurnished loftlike area, is "white, like the ice on top of the mountain," Wibowo says.

  • 
  To add extra illumination to the third floor loft, Wibowo placed Dan Flavinesque sculptural (and inexpensive) four-foot-long fluorescent tubes into the slanted ceiling.

    To add extra illumination to the third floor loft, Wibowo placed Dan Flavinesque sculptural (and inexpensive) four-foot-long fluorescent tubes into the slanted ceiling.

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